Quiz for Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression has no one particular cause and no one set of symptoms. It affects each woman differently, so it can be hard to identify early on.
Despite the individual nature of postpartum depression, there are some specific and important risk factors to keep in mind as you assess yourself.
Whether you are thinking of becoming pregnant, are currently pregnant or have recently given birth, there are ways to help predict if you are at risk of developing postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression and its many forms are serious conditions. Recognizing signs, symptoms and risk factors as soon as possible will greatly improve your recovery chances.
Below is a helpful quiz you can take to tell if you may be at risk for developing postpartum depression. Answer “yes” or “no” to all of the following questions that are applicable to you.
Personal Mental Health History
The following are questions about mental health history and experiences. By answering these questions you can roughly gauge your risk of developing postpartum depression.
- Do you have a history of bipolar disorder, psychosis, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or any other mental illness?
- Have you ever experienced a physical or emotional trauma such as rape, assault, car accident or another incident?
- Have you ever been diagnosed and treated for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
- Have you ever been treated for anxiety and/or depression?
- Have you ever suffered from anxiety or depression that went undiagnosed or untreated?
Family Mental Health History
Genetics and family history play a large role in dictating your mental and physical health. The following questions will help you assess your risk for developing postpartum depression by looking at your family’s mental health history.
- Has anyone in your family been diagnosed with such as bipolar disorder, psychosis, OCD or any other mental illness?
- Has anyone in your family experienced a physical or emotional trauma such as rape, assault, car accident or any other incident?
- Has anyone in your family been diagnosed and treated for PTSD?
- Has anyone in your family received treatment for depression and/or anxiety?
- Has anyone in your family struggled with depression or anxiety that went undiagnosed or untreated?
- Have any women in your family suffered from postpartum depression, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed?
Personal Pregnancy History
Research has shown that women with a history of stressful pregnancies, childbirths or previous postpartum depression run a higher risk of developing postpartum depression.
The following are questions that will assess your risk for developing postpartum depression based on your pregnancy history. These questions may not be applicable to everyone.
- Have you ever experienced a traumatic childbirth before that may have involved an unplanned C-section, the use of forceps, or your baby being placed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)?
- Have you previously had a miscarriage, stillbirth or other complicated pregnancies?
- Have you ever had symptoms of postpartum depression with a previous pregnancy?
Current Life Stressors
Health experts feel that women who are facing difficult or challenging life situations are at a greater risk of developing postpartum depression.
If you are currently pregnant, the following questions will help assess your risk of developing postpartum depression.
- Was your pregnancy unplanned or unwanted?
- Are you unmarried?
- Are you currently without family or social support?
- Are you currently facing financial hardship?
- Have you experienced a challenging life event in the past year such as a job loss, divorce, death of a friend or family member or bankruptcy?
Current Postpartum Experience
If you have recently given birth, there are risk factors that could bring on postpartum depression over the next several months.
Please answer the following questions about your current postpartum experience to determine if you have or are at risk of developing postpartum depression.
- Did you experience any prenatal anxiety or depression for which you received treatment?
- Are you currently facing relationship or marriage problems?
- Are you facing struggles as you care for your new baby (such as health complications in you or the baby or difficulty consoling your child)?
- Are you having difficulty breastfeeding?
- Are you sleep-deprived and fatigued?
- Are you experiencing weight loss and loss of appetite?
- Are you regularly exhibiting any of the following symptoms:
- Strong feelings of guilt and shame
- Extreme sadness and crying
- Anxiety and worry
- Irritability and frustration
- Fear of harming your baby
Review more common postpartum depression symptoms.
Assessing Your Risk of Postpartum Depression
All of the above questions ask about known risk factors for postpartum depression. If you answered “yes” to many of the above questions, you could be at risk of developing postpartum depression. Your answers to these questions should not be considered a clinical diagnosis but rather a starting point for you as you move forward. Consult with your doctor to get a formal diagnosis of postpartum depression and a plan of action to treat it.
Based on your quiz results, you may find that you are at risk for developing postpartum depression. It is important to discuss your risk factors and medical history with your doctor. Healthy family planning also includes discussing the potential risks of postpartum depression with your loved ones and your spouse.
By being aware that you could develop postpartum depression, you and your health care providers can take preventative action before and after pregnancy.